Several athletes eyeing state championships

“We feel like we’ve got a lot of potential here,” said Sussex Central High School boys swim coach Jeff Kilner. “And we’re looking for a big year for the program.”

Kilner has coached the boys for six years. He’s joined by girls head coach Brittany Rummel, who’s been with the team four years.

Swim meets are scored by points awarded for each individual race. While each meet has a winning team, much of the focus in swimming is placed on individual accomplishments.

What were the last few seasons like?

Kilner: The boys last year were 5-6, the girls 3-8. Last year was the first year since, I believe, 2008 that we had anyone even finish in the top 16 in the state. The boys had a [200-yard] medley relay place 14 in the state.

Rummel: Maddie McTeer was able to make top 16 in both the [50- and 100-yard] freestyle, which is a big accomplishment as a freshman.

How is the season shaping up?

Kilner: We’re a very young team this year with a big upside. Our numbers are down a little bit, so that will end up affecting our win-loss record because of way points are distributed. But over the past two seasons we’ve actually seen a pretty significant growth of the program. I think that has a lot to do with the new pool over at Sussex Academy and the Makos club team that formed last year, just providing an opportunity for kids to kinda grow up in the sport and have some more experience. Before the Makos, the [Sussex Community Swim Team] Otters were kind of the feeder program and we got a lot of good athletes from there.

Who are some of your best swimmers this year?

Kilner: We have a freshman this year who has already broken a school record and is very close to another, Breyden Wright. He broke the 100-yard backstroke record in our first meet against Sussex Tech. Sophomore Peyton Harmon qualified for three events in states last year. Then seniors Jordan Pritchett and Tyler Herbster, they’re our top two time-wise.

Rummel: Our top two swimmers for the girls are Carolyn Munoz and Maddie McTeer. Carolyn made the state cut already for [the 100-yard butterfly] and is hoping to make it for the [200-yard individual medley] here soon. Maddie has already made the state cut in [50- and 100-yard freestyle]. She’s going to make a lot more state cuts, if not break some school records this year.

Which teams do you expect to be most competitive?

Kilner: The north generally runs the state. Salesianum is always the team to beat on the boys side of things, along with the Charter School of Wilmington, and there’s always a strong team from Brandywine. But in our conference we’re looking primarily at Sussex Tech, Caesar Rodney and Cape. Indian River has been building a heck of a program, too.

Rummel: The girls kind of mirror the boys. Sussex Academy usually gives us a good run.